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June 20, 2006

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"Part of my aversion may stem from the value I see people in our culture placing on private space. Our cultural reality today -- and maybe even especially in Southern California -- is not at all what it was 3,4,5 decades ago."

Things are very similar up here in Ontario, DP. People are polite, but privacy is a big part of the culture from what I've seen. Even good friends don't show up on one anothers doorstep uninvited. To do so would be considered very rude.

I understand what those men were trying to do, but I also think that Christians (including myself) need to be aware of the culture(s) they find themselves living in and among.

Lydia, thanks for sharing the observations about privacy in today's culture.

Our two "knockers" were indeed nice men. And I appreciate their passion for sharing the good news with others. In so many corners of Protestant evangelicalism, it's "business as usual". Ultimately, this saddens me. Change comes slow, I suppose.

"And what 'damage' exactly are those going door to door doing? the growth rate of the mormans and the jw's are staggering. So we the real Church think we can win the lost by doing nothing?"

I think the church can win the lost by many, many other things, not just door knocking. Some of these things are accepting the "non-accepted" where they're at, feeding the poor, comforting the needy, and being real (as opposed to "fake") Christians....letting them know we have our flaws, and we're not trying to hide them.

Damage?
I think yes, it can cause "damage" in a certain sense, because there are still so many people that have a privacy issue, and dont exactly LOVE door-knockers. Each time they come knocking, its makes their reputation worse.

national "Do Not Knock List" hahaha...funny!

Some of these things are accepting the "non-accepted"

you know, that is interesting. i believe that jesus did in fact (and still does) meet people where they are at. loves them and accepts them there too.

i just don't think he expects them to stay that way. do you?

"But I'd like to be "open to reason", SO... if you believe that this is still a viable and effective method for sharing the gospel with people, I'd love to hear from you"

If it done with a Steve Sogren, "Conspiracy of Kindness", or any other similar approach which is very relaxed, friendly and easy going. then yes. A few years back, I also had some door knockers from a Bible Church knock on ,my door with a kind of "meet and greet" approach and I thought they did pretty well. And I likewise, a few years back while at attending a Vineyard did the Conspiracy of Kindness thing, along with a good part of the rest of the church. I enjoyed it, and I think it presents an affective model for presenting the gospel with strangers.

Pity the fools who knock on the door of the Juggernaut! They don't know what they are in for!

;-)

Personally, I hate any door-to-door interaction. My home is my haven and unless you are invited ...

Having said that, a church I was on staff with in PA had a good approach for door-to-door. They built a new facility in a growing suburb and wanted to reach out to the neighborhood, but in the least obtrusive way possible. The encounter was to be very brief. Participants were told when someone answered the door, to back up like you were already leaving, tell the person who you are, you just wanted them to know the church is in the neighborhood, issue a verbal invitation, hand them a church info brochure and LEAVE. If the person wanted to know more or engage you in conversation, it would be up to him/her.

A few people did show up at church as a result; I don't know if they stayed long.

Caldonia

I have no problem with people doing door-to-door evangelism IF they are willing to pursue genuine Christian relationships with those people whether those people accept Christ immediately or not and IF they are prepared to actively disciple them.

Sadly, in most cases, neither of those two come to pass. The result is that we can make someone twice the child of hell they were before by turning them into an "anti-witness" who tasted some of the Gospel and made some kind of "decision" but has had no follow-up, falling into the abyss of calling themselves a Christian, but with no evidence of that in their lives. This is why I no longer support short-term evangelistic programs.

"The result is that we can make someone twice the child of hell they were before by turning them into an "anti-witness" who tasted some of the Gospel and made some kind of "decision" but has had no follow-up, falling into the abyss of calling themselves a Christian, but with no evidence of that in their lives."

In part, we've brought this upon ourselves by emphasizing "salvation as event" to the exclusion of "salvation as journey" (vis a vis "discipleship).

Thanks for posting, Dan. It's good hearing from you.

There is nothing wrong with door to door evangelism. If you are not open to having unannounced visits from people you don't know, post a No Tresspassing sign by your doorbell. The down side is that some such preachers don't accept the person answering the door saying, "We're already Christians here". Then begins the, "Well, you are not really saved unless you are a member of my denomination", mantra. These evangelists may have the best intentions yet be seriously misled themselves. As for JW's being the poster child for door to door success, if you look, their growth numbers over the last 5 years or so have been stagnant and are now declining.

Enough already! Post something new that can be theologized to death...they just knocked on your door for Christ's sake.(and I mean that in a respectful way)

The people who knocked on your door...did they know you? No! And because they didn't know you, they made a false assumption: that you are not saved.

Years ago I started hanging around a very conservative group of Mennonites in the backwoods of Kentucky. They didn't try to proselytize me, they just invited me to share their meals and their singing and their laughter. As my marriage crumbled, they loved me to Christ.

I'm sure God can use door-knockers, and probably does. But God used people who knew me to woo me to Himself.

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